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Reflection involves describing, analysing and evaluating our thoughts, assumptions, beliefs,
theory base and actions (Fade, 2005). In order to understand the term reflection, it is important
that we look into definitions given by the other authors:

Dewey (1933) defined reflection as: an active persistent and careful consideration of any
belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further
conclusion to which it tends. Boud et al. (1985) take a different perspective and define it as a
generic term for those intellectual and effective activities in which individuals engage to explore
their experiences in order to lead to a new understanding and appreciation.

Kemmis (1985) says that the process of reflection is more than a process that focuses 'on
the head'. It is a positive active process that reviews, analyses and evaluates experiences that
draws on theoretical concepts or previous learning and so provides an action plan for future
experiences. While, Rowntree (1988) says reflection is studying one's own study methods as
seriously as one studies the subject and thinking about a learning task after you have done it.
Unless you do this, he says, the task will almost certainly be wasted.

Daudelin provides a definition of reflection that explicitly captures its relation to learning,
"Reflection is the process of stepping back from an experience to ponder, carefully and
persistently, its meaning to the self through the development of inferences; learning is the
creation of meaning from past or current events that serves as a guide for future behaviour."
(1996, 39). This definition suggests that reflection is integral to learning, when learning is defined
as making sense of past experience in order to affect and understand future experience.

Based on the definitions given by the authors, we can define reflection as a

metacognitive process where we look back at things that one did, experience or learn, think
deeply about it and use the knowledge or information that one get from it in the future.

1. Allin, L. & Turnock, C. (2007) Reflection on and in the Workplace for Work-based Supervisor.
Retrieved from http://www.practicebasedlearning.org/resources/materials/docs/Reflection

2. Boud D, Keough R and Walker D as cited in Allin & Turnock (1985) Reflection: Turning
experience into learning. Kogan Page.

3. Daudelin, M. W as cited in Eriksen (1996) Learning from experience through reflection.

Organizational Dynamics 24(3): 36-48.

4. Dewey, J. as Cited in Allin & Turnock (1933) How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of
Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Lexington, MA: Heath.

5. Eriksen, M. (2004) Developing the ability of proactive reflection. Retrieved from


6. Fade S (2005) Learning and Assessing through Reflection.


7. Kemmis S as Cited in Allin & Turnock (1985) Action Research and the Politics of Reflection. In:
Boud D et al (1985) op cit.

8. Reid B as Cited in Allin & Turnock (1993) "But we're doing it already". Exploring a response to the
concept of reflective practice in order to improve its facilitation. Nurse Education Today. 13:305-

9. Rowntree, D. as cited in Allin & Turnock (1988) Exploring Open and Distance Learning

Different author identifies different types of reflection. For example, Schön (1987) in his work
identifies two types of reflection; these are reflection-in-action (thinking on your feet) and reflection-
on-action (retrospective thinking). He suggests that reflection is used by practitioners when they
encounter situations that are unique, and when individuals may not be able to apply known theories
or techniques previously learnt through formal education. Alsop and Ryan (1996) presents three
types of reflection which are:

1. Looking forward (prospective reflection).

2. Looking at what we are doing now (spective reflection).

3. Looking back (retrospective reflection).

They offer this useful metaphor to help us understand it better:

“Reflecting by looking forward is like looking at a holiday brochure before we go away. We get
ideas about what the location might be like, what we might do and whom we might meet.
Reflecting by looking at what we are doing now is like looking at ourselves in a pool of water or a
mirror; it shows us as we are at that point in time. Reflecting by looking back is like looking at a
photograph or video when we return from our holiday. It tells us about where we went and what
we did and whom we met.”

Alsop A & Ryan S as cited in Fade (1996) Becoming a Reflective Learner, chapter 15 in: Making the Most
of Fieldwork Education. StanleyThorne, Cheltenham.

Fade S (2005) Learning and Assessing through Reflection.


Schon, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.

3. Definition of Reflective Teaching

3.1 What is Reflective Teaching?

It is important for teachers to reflect activities that ‘are going to’, ‘is’ or ‘have been’ carried out in the
classroom. This process is known as reflective teaching. Reflective teaching can be understood
better by looking at definitions and description given by the other authors about reflective teaching.

According to Tyce (2010), reflective teaching means looking at what one does in the classroom,
thinking about why one does it, and thinking about if it works - a process of self-observation and self-
evaluation. By collecting information about what goes on in our classroom, and by analysing and
evaluating this information, we identify and explore our own practices and underlying beliefs. This
may then lead to changes and improvements in our teaching.

Richards & Lockhart (1994, p.1) state that a reflective approach to teaching is "one in which
teachers and student teachers collect data about teaching, examine their attitudes, beliefs,
assumptions and teaching practices, and use the information obtained as a basis for critical reflection
about teaching."

To move from the older teaching model to the newer one, language teachers need to think about
what they do and how and why they do it. Reflective practice allows instructors to consider these
questions in a disciplined way. According to National Capital Language Resource Center reflective
practice asks:

• Which teaching model am I using?

• How does it apply in specific teaching situations?

• How well is it working?

According to Salandhanan (2009), a reflective teacher regularly and systematically reviews the
result of his teaching, identifies weaknesses as well as success ingredients and in the end plan for
improving them. Besides, a reflective teacher always asks “Why the students are not interested or
interested while were the lesson was being carried out?”, “What can i do to improve the lesson?” and
so on. Thus, a reflective teacher can be considered as a proactive participant in the determination of
decisions regarding their teaching practices.

3.2 What do Reflective Teachers Do? – based on the definitions

Based on the definitions, a reflective teacher:

• examines, frames and attempts to solve the dilemmas of classroom practice;

• is aware of and questions the assumptions and values he or she brings to teaching;

• is attentive to the institutional and cultural contexts in which he or she teaches;

• takes part in curriculum development and is involved in school change efforts;

• takes responsibility for his or her own professional development.

3.3 What are the Characteristics of Reflective Teachers and Reflective Teaching?

• Reflective teaching implies an active concern with aims and consequences, as well as means
and technical efficiency.

• Reflective teaching is applied in a cyclical process in which teachers monitor, evaluate and
revise their own practice continuously.

• Reflective teaching requires competence in methods of evidence based class-room enquiry

to support the progressive development of higher standards of teaching.

• Reflective teaching requires an attitude of open-mindedness, responsibility and

• Reflective teaching is based on teacher judgment, informed by evidence based enquiry and
insights from other research.

3.4 What does Reflective Teaching Means to Me?


Bailey M.K. 2001. Pursuing Personal Development: The Self as Source. Retrieved from

Tice, J. as cited in Adnan A. Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice.

National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC). (n.d.). The Essentials of Language Teaching.
Retrieved from http://nclrc.org/essentials.

Richards, J. C., & Lockhart, C. as cited in Bailey K.M. (1994). Reflective teaching in second language
classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zeichner, K. M., & Liston, D. P. as Cited in Bailey M.K. (1996). Reflective teaching. Mahwah, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum.

Salandhanan, G.G. (2009). Teacher Education. Philippines: Katha Publishing.

4. Why is reflection important?

Some might argue that teacher nowadays is burdened with loads of works that will not enable
them to do reflections of their teaching. However, it is important for teachers to know how
important reflective practice is if they want to improve their teaching. There are a few benefits of
doing reflections.

Reflective practice helps teacher to have a deeper understanding of their own teaching
styles and strategies. There are certain weaknesses that the teacher doesn’t notice at all but they
do have some negative effects to the teaching process. For example, the teacher might not notice
that they always use the same types of material in teaching and the students get bored with his
teaching. By being reflective, one will be able to plan strategies or steps that can be taken to
overcome the problems.

Besides, as a teacher reflects, he will understand his roles as a teacher better. Teaching
doesn’t necessarily need a teacher to teach only. He also has a responsibility to be aware of their
students, their ability, their potential that need to be improved, their problems in learning and so
on. The more a teacher aware of his/ her students, the more he knows him/her. By knowing a
student better, the teacher can do something to improve that student.

5. How can one carry out reflection?

Knowing that reflection is very important to be carried out in order to improve one’s teaching, one
perhaps are puzzled not knowing at what point should they start from. There are few ways that a
teacher can do in doing reflection of their teaching.

1) Self observation: this is where a teacher observes and evaluates themselves. This can
be done by videotaping the lesson. However, in recording the lesson, it is important that the
teacher makes sure that the video-camera is placed so that the whole class can be viewed. By
doing this, the teacher will be able to see everything that every student do while the lesson is
carried out. By videotaping the lesson, a teacher can observe things that he does in a lesson,
perhaps with a help of an observation checklist or some cues that the teacher decides before the
class begins.

2) Besides that, a teacher can also write a teaching journal where the teacher will record
his/her experiences. By doing this, the teacher can see how his teachings progress time by time.
This way also can be integrated with technology, by posting it to blogs and update it daily or